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Millions of Americans live with sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by temporary loss of breath during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is caused by physical obstructions that hinder air circulation in breathing passages; and central sleep apnea (CSA), which occurs when the brain is unable to properly send signals to the muscles that control breathing. Many people with OSA rely on continuous positive air pressure machines, or CPAP machines, which deliver air at prescribed pressure rates throughout the night. People with CSA, on the other hand, may be able to alleviate their symptoms through bi-level positive air pressure machines, or BiPAP machines, which delivers air at variable pressure rates depending on the individual’s breathing activity.
Both CPAP and BiPAP machines hook up to face masks and deliver air through a connective hose. The masks are interchangeable between the two machine types, but are usually referred to simply as ‘CPAP masks.’ Unlike full face CPAP masks, which cover the entire nose and mouth, nasal CPAP masks deliver cover the nose only. As a result, some nasal CPAP mask wearers sleep with their mouths open — but open-mouth sleeping can have an adverse effect on CPAP therapy. To ensure their CPAP therapy is effective, nasal CPAP mask users who sleep with their mouths open often use adjustable chinstraps to keep their mouth closed. A wide range of chinstrap styles and designs are available, and most cost less than $40.
This guide will look at the benefits of using a CPAP mask chinstrap, common design features, important tips for shoppers, and our picks for the top-rated CPAP chinstrap models.
People sleep with their mouths open for different reasons. For many it is a natural sleep position, but certain conditions — such as a deviated septum or nasal congestion — may also be the primary cause.
Sleeping with one’s mouth open during CPAP therapy is detrimental for two reasons.
The best CPAP chinstraps will help maintain proper CPAP/BiPAP air pressure and prevent dry mouth symptoms. They can also help minimize the chronic snoring associated with sleep apnea, since people who sleep with their mouths open are more likely to snore. Chinstraps are also a convenient, low-cost workaround for individuals who cannot afford a CPAP full face mask; these masks often cost between $100 and $150. Additionally, a chinstrap is useful for people who are unable to train themselves to sleep with their mouths closed, which can be a difficult undertaking.
Most CPAP chinstraps are made of strong, breathable materials like nylon, neoprene, and/or polyester. The straps are secured on both sides, usually around the temples. Some models feature an additional strap that fits around the crown of the head, while others have a cap-like covering instead. This simple, non-invasive design allows for complete range of motion and clear speaking when the chinstrap is being worn.
Please note that, unlike CPAP machines and masks, CPAP chinstraps do not require a doctor’s prescription to purchase.
Important chinstrap design considerations include:
When shopping for a new CPAP chinstrap and comparing different brands and models, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Next, let’s look at the best CPAP chinstraps according to actual owners and wearers. The following six chinstraps are currently available for purchase.
|Model||Halo Chinstrap||Original Deluxe Chinstrap||PAPCap Cotton Chinstrap||Premium Chinstrap||Puresom Ultra Chinstrap||Sullivan Chinstrap|
|Brand||Breathewear Inc.||Philips Respironics||Pur-Sleep||Philips Respironics||CareFusion||ResMed|
|Straps||Wide and stability straps||Wide and stability straps||Wide strap, plus cap top||Wide and stability straps||Wide strap only||Wide strap only|
|Sizes||One size||One size||Small/Medium|
|One size||One size||One size|
|Strap Length (Overall)||17 3/4″ (wide strap)|
10″ (stability strap)
|26″ (wide strap)|
12″ (stability strap)
|18 1/2″ (both sizes)|
S/M fits heads measuring 21″ to 22 1/4″
L/XL fits heads measuring 22 5/8″ to 24″
|27 1/4″ (wide)|
|Strap and Chin Guard Width (est.)||1″ (wide strap)|
4 1/2″ (stability strap)
5″ (chin guard)
|3″ (wide strap and chin guard)|
1″ (stability strap)
|3″ (strap and chin guard)||2″ (wide)|
3″ (chin guard)
2 1/2″ (chin guard)
3″ (chin guard)
|Closure Location||Cheek||Cheek||Temples||Temples||Top of head||Top of head|
|Tuck Customer Satisfaction Rating||85% (201 customer reviews)||86% (83 customer reviews)||85% (192 customer reviews)||83% (887 customer reviews)||78% (56 customer reviews)||79% (421 customer reviews)|
For more information on sleep apnea and CPAP/BiPAP machines and accessories, please check out the following pages on Tuck.com: